Streak stopped: Twins, Deduno can't continue positive vibe vs. Cleveland
MAY 06, 2014 10:38p ET
Unfortunately for Samuel Deduno, he had to be the one to break the streak.
The four runs Deduno allowed came in the first two innings of Tuesday's game. Cleveland's Nick Swisher, who hit a one-out double in the bottom of the first inning, came around to score the game's first run on a base hit by Michael Brantley off Deduno. Brantley later scored on an error by Twins first baseman Chris Colabello, who let a David Murphy ground ball get past him for a 2-0 Indians lead.
One inning later, Deduno gave up a leadoff hit to Lonnie Chisenhall, who advanced to second on a balk call after Deduno dropped the ball. Yan Gomes doubled on an 0-1 pitch to drive in Chisenhall and put Cleveland up 3-0. With two outs in the second inning, Swisher singled to score Gomes for the Indians' fourth run of the game against Deduno.
From there, however, Deduno settled down. He faced the minimum in the third thanks to an inning-ending double play, and he induced three straight groundball outs after issuing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fourth. And a one-out walk to Brantley in the fifth did no damage as Deduno again worked out of trouble with a fly out and a groundout.
"He started locating his ball a little bit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Deduno. "He was up in the zone. Early in the game he was overthrowing. His curveball was kind of looking like a slider at times. Once he started kind of spotting the ball a little bit and not overthrowing, his curveball started breaking and he had a little more success with it."
Deduno was injected into the rotation last week after the struggling Mike Pelfrey was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a groin injury. Deduno pitched an extended 62-pitch relief outing the same day as Pelfrey's last start on Thursday, meaning the right-hander's workload matched up well to take Pelfrey's spot in the rotation.
Coming into Tuesday's start, Deduno had made seven relief appearances this season for Minnesota. In 18 2/3 innings, Deduno posted a 2.89 ERA and a WHIP of 1.554 with 18 strikeouts and nine walks.
Deduno entered spring training battling for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation, a job that right-hander Kyle Gibson ultimately won. But with Deduno out of minor-league options, the Twins put him in the bullpen. It took a few outings for Deduno to adjust to his new role, but he eventually settled in and was effective in the bullpen for Minnesota.
Needing a starter in Pelfrey's absence, the Twins turned to Deduno. His first start since Aug. 29 of last year only lasted five innings, but he did stretch out to 77 pitches. Assuming the rotation remains intact, Deduno is scheduled to start next on Sunday in Detroit.
While Deduno was hit with the loss -- he wasn't given much run support as Cleveland's Josh Tomlin won his first start since returning from Tommy John surgery -- Gardenhire was pleased with some of the adjustments he saw his pitcher make Tuesday.
"Once he calmed down, I thought he was pretty good," Gardenhire said. "We needed that, and he needed that."
FOX Sports North's Marney Gellner contributed to this report.
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